The oddest thing.  I seem to have lost a few photos from a couple of weeks ago in Hereford. Perhaps they’ll turn up in 2021 and I’ll wonder what they are.

Not to worry.  I still have the photo of Duncan on his bike admiring the Cathedral while completing the Guide in 1977;


As you’ll know, it’s a great Cathedral, enhanced by the copy of the famed Mappa Micro Mundi, a guide to avoiding small pubs.


The building below would have been converted into a branch of Specsavers or Reeds Raine if it were in Worcester or Tewkesbury.


The Black & White House at least has the decency to be a museum.

Of course, anyone with any decency would come to Hereford for the day, stay overnight and enjoy the full glories of Barrels, one of our very greatest pubs.

Sadly I only had time to get the obvious bull picture for my blog title.

Taken in the middle of the road

And nip in a rare new town pub that isn’t a Brewery Tap.

If you think it’s an odd name it used to be Watercress Harry’s

Odd name, odd place; presumably Wye Valley‘s attempt to cash in on the lucrative Hereford nightime economy with low priced ales and a narrow approach to maximise your chances of bumping into folk carrying Wu Wus. Though not at 2pm.

Looks like a bowling lane


This is the sort of underpricing of beer that CAMRA is trying to stamp out, of course. Or perhaps CAMRA members think HPA and Cwtch are poor beers cheaply made ?

I often ask, in all innocence, what poor beers we shouldn’t be campaigning for. No-one will tell me.

They also had Plum Porter, which I again had to forego in order to continue my pursuit of a decent HPA.

Scary number of spirits

This was very much “decent” NBSS HPA, though not quite sparkling enough to make me wish I’d followed my heart rather than my brain.  Still, £2.60 a pint, some splendidly cheerful service, and a rare airing of “I second that emotion” by Japan. Yes, the Japan they were playing in Scunthorpe last week.

NBSS 3 is Good, you know

That was followed by the Sugarcube’s “Birthday”, a party tune enjoyed by the Old Boy opposite me who’d decided that he’s happy to pay the extra 60p a pint over Spoons prices to enjoy the Freddie Mercury art.

As wise choice.






27 thoughts on “HEREFORD : NO BULL

      1. It seems perfectly alright, but it’s even on the right side of town for The Barrels… and The Volunteer… and The Brewers Arms…and The Hum-ming Garden…

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Have you also lost the picture of me on a Penny Farthing doing the 1901 Guide? Those were the days, when every pub had cask. Still need this one and Pembridge. Hereford is an odd mixture of a town. Fine work Mr Taylor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hereford is very odd. Not a lot to it, and not as twee as it might appear.

      Surprised Beer in Hand fell out of the Guide, perhaps a technical issue, as seemed to be doing a lot right on last visit. Add Barrels and a lively Spoons and you have a decent night out.

      That crafty Firefly was shut, suggesting daytime trade drying up.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is not a lack of diligence (as there is no rule on the issue) but rather a branch by branch issue. Some require a pub to be open a year after a change of hands, but others argue that if the continuity of the pub and quality of the beer has not changed, and there are no other better contenders, why remove it? And why a year, some pubs generate more data in one month than some do in a year?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Indeed, like GBG selection and the use of beer scoring itself it’s left to local decision, and I’m happy with that.

        As you note, some branches will be a lot closer to their pubs than other due to geography and volumes of decent pubs.

        I was a bit surprised a London Micropub that only opened at Christmas 2017 was voted into the Guide a couple of months later for the current Guide, but it had probably had more visits from branch members in 2 months than many pubs have in 2 years.


  2. Who cares ?
    After nearly two months without a drink I’m about 15 hours away from easing my arse into a seat on a BA flight to Mexico City and 17 days of mainlining tequila and whatever else I can lay my hands on.
    First call from the trolly dolly will be three Gordon’s and Tonic each for myself and the missus plus several bottles of wine for the grub we won’t eat and then shortly after the meal service I’ll shift onto the Johnny Walker and Dry Ginger.Immigration in MEX should be interesting.
    Just packed. 5 T-shirts,two shorts,one swimming trunks,a cap,flip-flops,Nurofen,toothbrush,passports and four thousand US dollars.
    I just informed Mrs Professor Pie-Tin that the only change from when I used to pack my rucksack as a strapping young man was about three thousand bucks and a packet of condoms.
    Game ‘effing on.
    Wahaay !

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s always after midnight, Martin. It just depends on to which one you’re referring – ask the morning queue at ‘Spoons.


      2. 9pm to 1am and 2am to 6am is my bedtime.
        6am to 8am is for a proper black coffee.
        Then I usually waste the morning but once or twice a month I will go and clear the first pint out of the line ready for the next customer.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, I’m amazed that Japan’s version of “Second that Emotion” gets occasional airplay in England– I had always thought that was a pretty obscure track (by a band that was itself a bit obscure!). Such an odd thing, Motown + the Japan sound, but they made it work didn’t they?

    I know people in the UK are very used to seeing buildings like the Black & White House, but man! It really does look like something out of a fairy tale.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. Very occasional, first time I’d heard it for 39 years! I actually bought it in 1980, red vinyl, small hit before they went huge. Odd stuff like that was the norm in 79/80, wasn’t it (you Yanks just had “My Sharona” on repeat, of course 😉).

      And yes, fairy tale indeed.

      Liked by 1 person

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